What an exhausting and long year since last August – my last full vacation!

And exhausting … for ALL OF  US! I am so fortunate to have been able to  work with such amazing and incredible colleagues at The Computer Help Desk over the past … 500+ DAYS! Yes, it has been that long since we started working remotely, late in March of 2020!

Without ALL of their support, humour, leadership, imagination, guidance  and every single possible ‘intangible‘ that each and every single one of them, ALL BRING to our Teams meetings, emails, texts, GIFs, Emojis, Jeopardy, Quote Contests, it would have been impossible to accomplish a fraction of what WE ALL DID AS A TEAM!


A few key UVic and BC websites for returning to campus in September for everyone!

  1. Return-to-Campus Guidelines now available
  2. Return to campus info for students
  3. Communicable Disease Plan now available
  4. UVic News
  5. Update on getting your COVID-19 vaccine
  6. Remote work arrangements announced for the fall
  7. Working remotely
  8. Post-secondary studies during COVID-19

Not to worry . . .

August 30th to prep for
. . . Septem . . . PURR !!!!



I will bring Empire Donuts when I return to UVic!



OS Emulators on WIN and macOS

 Did You Know
You might be able to experience . . .
macOS on a WIN computer?
. . . OR other neat EMULATORS too?

You can actually try legacy operating systems … on a browser! And it does not matter if you have WIN or macOS either! There are websites that … almost … let you Time Travel to see what earlier version of (then) current Operating Systems were like! They are not intended to be functional, only descriptive and ..  kinda fun, most of them! And no implied guarantee of success here! Just some emulator sites I found out there! 

And a HUGE distinction between an emulator of an OS, running on a browser and … actually remote access TO a real computer on campus. That is through  a real service at: remotelab.uvic.ca and is EVEN COOLER! The screen grab below is of my old  MacBook Pro, accessing a WIN computer in Clearihue! A rather existential question arises … is this Windows IN a Mac, or Windows ON a Mac! 🙂 This will be a future post, just to whet your whistle!


Emulators! According to Wikipedia an emulator is:

In computing, an emulator is hardware or software that enables one computer system (called the host) to behave like another computer system (called the guest). 

There are many, many, MANY browser based emulators out there! So I will show a few of them, and then put a list below to try out.

Let’s try Mac emulators first!

Quite a few of these sites have both operating systems listed, so … a Treasure Trove of Emulators!

7 classic versions of Windows and Mac OS you can run in a browser lets you try Mac System 7! This is even before the Cats took over the Mac! Fun Fact – I still own a functioning Mac SE, bought way back in … 1989!!! Such a cool computer!

And what is regarded as the single greatest Macintosh game of all time is … DARK CASTLE! And you can try it out at the same Mac System 7 site! A bit more on games later ….

MAC 8.6
                MAC 8.6

Inevitable updates to all operating  systems are … inevitable! And one of the next ones was Mac OS 8.6: The classic Mac OS nears the end of its life and this was a HUGE upgrade from System 7 – the number alone is … 1+! You can go directly there from here or click the Mac desktop to the left.

OSX 10.2 Jaguar
           OSX 10.2 Jaguar

And one final Macintosh emulator OS X 10.2: The classic Mac OS is retired …ah, good times, good times …. A HUGE selection of MANY emulators is at VirtualDesktop.org, including OS X 10.2.



The one that started them all .. well, at least in 1995 .. WINDOWS 95! And again, these are all from VirtualDesktop.org, amongst many others! Considering The CALL Facility started out with DOS based machines, running McMaster French, more closely resembling a text adventure game … WINDOWS 95 WAS CONSIDERED SLICED BREAD at the time!

           WINDOWS NT

And a final pairing of WINDOWS ME and WINDOWS NT! Microsoft sure like using lots of letters of the alphabet! But, to be fair … Apple liked using cats before Roman Numerals and then portable devices started to show up and now all kinds of … flavours …  just like an ice cream shop!

For more Virtual Experiences, I will list a few sites below, but the best to see the most, is at VirtualDesktop.org. Not all there, but .. enough to do a decent days work of Time Travel and see how Operating Systems have changed considerably over the years!

C64 Emulator
              C64 Emulator

And one last emulator, from my first ever computer that I bought … COMMODORE – C64 Online Emulator! The drawback here is that you need to upload some kind of file FROM an original C64, then it works. So, not much to try here. But I am going to find out HOW to do it though! And even more Online Emulators from the same place too!

I mentioned games earlier, but will have another post in the future about games. Spoile – I am NOT a Gamer!

Emulator Sites to Surf Towards …..

Virtual Desktops
                              Virtual Desktops
  1. List of Emulators (Wikipedia)
  2. List of Computer System Emulators (Wikipedia)
  3. Commodore 64 emulators (Wikipedia Category)
  4. 7 classic versions of Windows and Mac OS you can run in a browser
  5. Mac OS 8 emulator lets you relive the past for the first time
  6. 5 best PC emulation software for Mac [2021 Guide]
  7. Emulators can turn your PC into a Mac, let you play games from any era, and more — here’s what you should know about the potential benefits and risks of using one
    VICE – the Versatile Commodore Emulator
  8. Commodore 64 emulators (Wikipedia)
  9. Commodore 64 emulators for Windows 10
  10. C64 Forever 8 “R3”: Create & Play
  11. C64 online emulator
  12. CCS64 – A Commodore 64 Emulator – By Per Håkan Sundell
  13. On-line Emulators
  14. Virtual (Complete) Desktops – SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST!


How to Play Commodore 64 Games on PC!
Commodore 64 emulator! Vice Emulator Setup!

Kim Justice’s Top 50 Commodore 64 Games
of All-Time (YouTube)

Pawn Stars:
A Working Commodore 64
(Season 14) | History



Did you know UVic has a YouTube Channel?

Did You Know
UVic ...
has a
YouTube Channel?

You probably thought, yes, I … suspected that UVic has a YouTube Channel, but have you BEEN THERE? Probably not! But it is worth your while! So, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video apparently worth 1.8 MILLION WORDS!!

UVic’s YouTube channel has some amazing videos for learning about UVic, Departments, Airiel views by Drone, National  and International stories about UVic and many Hints, How-To’s and just plain FUN VIDEOS!

In no particular order, sort of, are some of my Favourite UVic YouTube videos. There are so many …. and I am sure you will  find many of them fun, useful and informative! And many student bloggers are posting about their experiences at UVic throughout the semester at another OAC site, My UVic Life (another shameless promotion of UVic here at Bog Blog!)

And you can also find my video, from a PowerPoint at YouTube too! Just go to my Page, “The CALL Facility … and other Mysteries of UVIC” or just find the link to ALL my Pages, on the right-hand side of each post.

You can click on the text link, or the thumbnail of the UVic video below to go to a new tab with that video.


University of Victoria aerial highlights


UVic Campus Tour

Humanities at UVic

UVic Channels

UVic ranked as a global leader in climate action




CALL Facility Bookmarks
Cosmetic & Functional

NOTE: Unfortunately, I recently discovered that ZOHO is no longer free, at least for the purposes that The CALL Facility used it for. I still have access as an Admin, but I am researching how I might be able to continue to provide the same resources in perhaps a slightly different format. Options such as a website, pdf, Word, Excel or other kind of document, but so far, they are not as easy to use, create, support and maintain. But I am hopeful and optimistic!

MANY THANKS to everyone who supported The CALL Facility (& me!) in offering this very unique resource over the past many years, probably dating back about 15 years or more! ZOHO came about as a response to needing a quick way to access Language bookmarks in CALL! Way back when, and this is BEFORE GOOGLE, I would email an attached bookmark file for specific browsers such as Explorer (Mac!), Safari and even Netscape Navigator! Good times, good times!

ALL the bookmarks are  still ‘at’ ZOHO, and I can access them, and export them into a simple .pdf document if anyone wants them. I can subsort, or include them all in one document. Please let me know! But for now, I won’t be updating ZOHO on a regular basis while I research other, if any, similar resources for Instructors and students.

In the meantime, probably the best strategy, for Instructors, would be to Copy/Paste website inks directly into  Brightspace for students. Yeah, cludgy and inelegant, but … sometimes old school works! The first shift I had in the CALL Facility – was bulk erasing and then making copies of Spanish lessons .. on cassette tapes! Good times, good times!

AND, if you DO CLICK HERE or on the icon of a PDF to the left, then you can view and download a .PDF version of ALL of The CALL Facility ZOHO Bookmarks in alphabetical order. Yeah, not ideal, but … at least they are all in one document.

And many thanks to Mark vH who helped me set it up so very long ago!

Zoho CALL Facility Bookmarks, is an on-line database of over 1100+ useful Language sites as well as utilities, orientations, copyright information, digital media access and world news sites. Yes, you could look some things up at Google, but … I (& many others too!) have done that already and you might just find some very interesting sites and information, based on what students and Instructors think is helpful. In fact, most of the links have been suggested by students and Instructors and might not show up high on a Google search! Diamonds in the rough!

But there have been some changes to ZOHO over the holidays. Their default template seems to have  changed from what once looked like below:

ZOHO CALL Facility Bookmarks
                                     ZOHO CALL Facility Bookmarks – Old Interface

To what it now looks like today:

NEW ZOHO Spanish
                                  ZOHO CALL Facility Bookmarks – New Interface

So  I will point out some important features that still work, but are now in different locations or use a different button or icon. You can still search, sort and resize columns, all of which are very handy at any time.

First, resizing columns. ZOHO will sometimes minimize the width of a column such as KEYWORDS. To widen any column, just position the cursor to the RIGHT of the Name of the narrow column (KEYWORDS) and your cursor will change into a small I-beam with left<-> right arrows. Click, hold and drag to the right to widen, or to the left to narrow the column too. Just like adjusting the size in a spreadsheet like Excel! The two images below show what a narrow column looks like and where to widenit with your  mouse.

ZOHO Narrow Column
                                                                      ZOHO Narrow Column
ZOHO Wider Column
                                                                     ZOHO Wider Column

And Searching AND Sorting a category, is now just one-click away! Just position your cursor over the category you want to SorUnder LANGUAGE, CATEGORY, KEYWORDS and CLICK BELOW is built into each Topic. Just click on the title above each Column and you will get a drop-down menu to choose how  you want to sort. Below are LANGUAGE and CATEGORY. If you look closely, there is a small inverted triangle, a visual clue that there is a feature there. You do not have to click ON the triangle, just anywhere in the name of the column and you get the drop down menu that includes Search, Sort by Ascending, Sort by Descending and other options.

ZOHO Language Sort
                                                                         NEW ZOHO LANGUAGE Sort
NEW ZOHO Category Sort
                                                                     NEW ZOHO CATEGORY Sort

When you select Search from the drop down menu, another menu box will open on the right hand side where you can set the criteria to search for, even if it is not in the LANGUAGE column! One stop searching is just one-click away! And if you ever need to close any popup window or menu, there is usually an ‘X’ in the top right-hand corner, to close that menu. You can also just click into an ’empty’ spot somewhere else in the ZOHO screen.

                                                             NEW ZOHO Search

AND BONUS! There are more ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ menu options as well. On the far right hand side, are 3 small icons. The first is a magnifying glass which will bring up the Search box. The second looks like a … coffee filter to me and .. that is what it is! You can filter multiple searches through this option, such as “Spanish Utilities Copyright” or other combinations. ZOHO will find them and present the filter criteria as well, and you can close them anytime. The final choice of 3 horizontal bars changes the view of ZOHO, with some additional functions, but nothing permanent and can be re-selected at anytime, and the original ZOHO link will always work too.

                                                                          NEW ZOHO Menu

And you might ask …. why does ZOHO default to Spanish with this link? Two reasons! First .. I am still learning how to set up Reports, Views and default and/or customizable access in ZOHO since their … update over the holidays!

And secondly … SPANISH Instructors have been enthusiastic supporters of ZOHO as a resource for their students for YEARS now! And so, yeah, it is … who you know! 🙂 Thanks to RS for your support and patience!

I do want to learn how to set up specific Reports, Views and other customizable aspects of ZOHO to make it even better than ever!

I have also updated my OAC ZOHO CALL Facility Bookmarks Page as well, with the most recent interface and a few more hints. It is always available on the right hand side of any Post, under Bog Blog Pages.

Thanks to everyone for their patience and support of The  CALL Facility! And I can hardly wait to get back to being on campus …. but nobody knows when just yet!

Open the Pod Bay Door HAL. . . or Computers I Have Owned or Worked With

Open the Pod Bay Door HAL
Computers I Have
Owned or Worked With!

Not exactly comforting assistance from a computer/AI blend there, Stanley! SPOILER ALERT – I might give away some movie endings! (Psssssst… did you know there was a sequel to 2001?)

Full Disclosure:Every single computer listed below, with the exception of HAL, really existed!!

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: I have owned and still own, most of these computers, oh, except for HAL! Yeah, I am a real packrat as far as computers go! And most still work too!

HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave: I don’t know what you’re talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.

Perhaps the  most famous computer in all of film history – the HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey! But this post is not about how computers or AI go awry! That will be a future post! This post is about all the computers that I have worked and/or owned since the first day I actually SAW A COMPUTER! Yup, life changing moment and it involved … GOLF!

The first computer I ever ‘saw’ was on a trip to a Life Insurance company through the youth program at my church. We were in this huge room and a giant golden tube was behind glass. The ‘terminal’ was a teletype style typewriter and … we played GOLF on it by simply typing a number!

‘1’ was a 1-Wood and you hit ‘Return’ and it typed out something like ‘200 yards. Straight down fairway’. And that absolutely fascinated me!

The first computer I ever OWNED was a kit from Science Fair named ‘SF-5000 Electronic Digital Computer‘! I spent HOURS cutting wire, measuring it to fit the distance between connections and then I was rewarded with a ‘2 + 2 = 4’ on the ‘monitor’ across the top of the kit! And then I would do it all over again on a different project! I don’t have the computer anymore, but somewhere in my basement, is the Owner’s Manual! I will have to dig it out and look at it soon! MADE IN CANADA TOO!

Then in High School, Grade 10, I became the proud owner of a Texas Instrument SR-51A with a ‘Pod Bay Door’ to put in dedicated chips! I was on top of the computing world! I still have it! It doesn’t work. But I still have it!

Then on to the University of Calgary and using the Mainframes there! I don’t remember what KIND of mainframe, only that I had to present my stack of punched cards to the ‘Elders of Data’, they would present my offering to the Oracle (card reader!) and I would then lovingly be handed back my offering. Then wait 15 minutes for the printout and find I had a spelling mistake in my FORTRAN code! Then fix the ONE punched card and … repeat!

But then, I entered the Faculty of Education and was hired as a TA for a grad course ‘Computers in Education’ and had access to a PDP 1170 and my own teletype! It was Nerd Heaven for me! My very own (almost a..) mainframe computer!

And then in the early 1980’s I did some volunteer work and had access to an Apple computer that a high school had bought with the proceeds of a ‘Cake Sale’ Fundraiser and they did not know what to do with it!

Turns out, I used it in my student teaching practicum year and absolutely transfixed all the staff and students in the school I was a Student Teacher in! BEST.TEACHING.RESOURCE.EVER!

And then the dreaded INEVITABLE HAPPENED! I had taken TOO MANY COURSES, HAD PASSED THEM ALL and … they made me graduate from the University of Calgary! D’Oh!

And my first ‘real’ job was working with the finest (and cheapest!) home computing power that has ever been used in the history of computing – COMMODORE COMPUTERS! My first classroom had Commodore VIC-20 computers, then were upgraded to Commodore-64s and I was tech support for all the PET computers as well! Basically – I was The Computer Help Desk for an entire building! LOL! And we even had 3 Commodore PC computers running WordPerfect at the time!

Then I bought my first REAL computer – the Commodore SX-64! 25 POUNDS of ‘luggable’ computing power! And I still have it and it still works! I can play C-64 games on it and can hook it up to my 45″ tv! Still works! Grinds and clunks away and I brought it to our Systems Open House a few years ago!

Fast forward to moving to Victoria and buying my first Macintosh – the venerable Mac SE with TWO FLOPPY DRIVES AND 1 MB OF RAM! Awesome! What worlds would I conquer with this screaming hot computer! Turns out …. not too many! And again, and this sounds like an echo … echo … echo …. I STILL HAVE IT AND IT STILL RUNS!

And then a sequence of buying only Macintosh computers: Mac LC520, Graphite iMac G3 and 27″ iMac that is now TEN YEARS OLD! Yes, I am still using a TEN YEAR OLD COMPUTER – but as my media centre for Apple TV and other videos and stuff! And … insert echo here … IT STILL WORKS!

Fast Forward to working at home now! Thanks to Allison, Patrick, Adam and everyone AT CHD and I have a nice Dell Latitude laptop, my daughter’s old ‘Zelda ‘ quality monitor and enough computing power to … work from home!


If anything, working with computers through the years describes one undeniable fact about technology – there will ALWAYS be a faster and more powerful computer coming … soon. But make use of what you have, use your imagination and you can do amazing things!

You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can use old computers to do new tricks like YouTube, digital videos, webpages, audio, page layout and watch … The Avengers!


And the usual assortment of recently searched interesting links, videos and other walks down memory lane …. literally if the memory involves RAM chips!

PS: And I own an iPhone SE now … but it is 4 years old and ….


  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Wikipedia
  2. Altair 8800
  3. SF-5000 Electronic Digital Computer Kit
  4. Welcome to Steve’s Old Computer Museum!
  5. List of home computers – Wikipedia
  6. 10 Classic Computers You Had as a Kid
  7. 28 Best Old Computer Images – Pinterest
  8. PDP 1170 Mainframe Computer – 1970’s
  9. Timeline of Mac Models
  10. 10 Most Popular Computers in History
  11. 10 Worthwhile Ways to Breathe New Life Into Old Computers
  12. Avoid the Trash Heap: 15 Great Uses for an Old PC
  13. 5 Creative Ways to Reuse an Old Mac at No Cost
  14. Twelve things to do with an old Apple computer

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 





Open the Pod Bay Doors Hal

The Computer That Changed Everything
Altair 8800 – Computerphile

1977 Tandy Digital Computer

Commodore SX-64 Computer Review

1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial


“It’s a fantastic computer! It’s so old that none of today’s hackers know how to hack it!”


Is Your DOSsier Up To Date – Best Do a CHKDSK

Is Your DOS – sier
Up to Date?
Best Do a CHKDSK!

DOS is not exactly a buzzword, nor will it ever trend ever, ever again. SPOILER ALERT – this is REALLY OLD TECHNOLOGY!

Full Disclosure: I have even worked on OLDER technology (punched cards) that made DOS seem like sliced bread when it came out!

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: The single greatest computer program ever used in The CALL Facility for languages … needed DOS! And …. IT IS STILL RUNNING!

Yes, the first ever computer program that was used in The CALL Facility was a package of 4 languages – French, German, Italian and Russian! And the operating system used was called MS-DOS – short for DISK OPERATING SYSTEM!

How can an operating system from the mid-1980’s, still be operating on MACINTOSH COMPUTERS, which did not even EXIT until 1984, and still be useful? It is technological MAGIC!

I really don’t know HOW they work, but they do! And this would have been the LAST summer for McBookmaster French with LMF! Our resident CHD Magician is Patrick F. and he knows all the special commands and magical chants to make it work on dual-boot iMac computers running Windows 10, running DOS Box! THANKS PATRICK! 

And this computer record will never be broken – McMaster French has been running for over 30 YEARS and has never once crashed! NEVER! And it has served its’ purpose well – Beginner French, simple text correction, grammar rules and instant feedback! ALL STATE OF THE ART back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s!

Below are some sample screens of what was presented to a student. And this was WELL before any kind of security involving ANY kind of UVic credentials. You simply turned the computer on and selected from a menu of language programs. Good times, good times!


I always enjoyed introducing this software to French students as they would be ‘Time Travelling’ to a distant past where Bill Gates was only a MILLIONAIRE, when the only mouse in the room was a biologic, and that they really needed to know where the arrow keys, CTRL, ATL, DEL and ESC keys were on an ACTUAL CLICKY KEYBOARD!

And to actually exit the program, you had to hit a sequence of keys, then get to the command line and actually type: exit … or logoff … or quit …. I CAN’T REMEMBER! LOL!

And there were no keyboard shortucuts either! Raw computing power harnessed for the good of education! Good times, good times!

To type the answer, the EXACT ANSWER FROM START TO FINISH, required using combinations of keys that often resulted in a sprained wrist, especially for RUSSIAN!

I remember Mary S., the CALL ‘expert’ at the time, fussing and fuming about fonts, .exe, .bat and .cnf files and making sure our ‘network’ of computers were all working! AND THEY DID! Mary did back then, what Patrick does no! LOL!

The Continuing Studies French Summer Immersion La Maison Française, relied on this software for MANY years after it was no longer “de rigueur” by any other Instructors. But alas, technology has surpassed even the oldest of computer programs. The last time I spoke with the Instructors using McBookMaster, they were ‘okay’ with not using it anymore, if it could not be installed on pending new hardware/software and operating systems!

The software worked REALLY WELL! And it served its’ purpose and can now go enter as the first member of ‘The CALL Facility Software Hall of Fame‘!



And at the time, we did have other MS-DOS based programs for other languages. We even had an Apple IIe with dual floppy disks to run LATIN PROGRAMS! Sadly, we removed this hardware years ago. Too bad, it would have fit really well with our Systems Open House a few years ago!

What happened after MS-DOS? Not many people remember but the first ever version of WINDOWS in CALL was actually written FOR MS-DOS and was really just a cosmetic version of MS-DOS itself!

Once you booted to DOS, you than would ‘run’ WINDOWS as an executable file! WOW! And then, the rest is history!

And the usual assortment of recently searched interesting links, videos and other walks down memory lane …. literally if the memory involves RAM chips!




  1. DOS – Wikipedia
  2. Timeline of DOS operating systems – Wikipedia
  3. MS-DOS – Encyclopedia Britannica
  4. MS-DOS: The Operating System You Loved To Hate
  5. 50 Underrated DOS Games
  6. MS-DOS Commands
  8. MS-DOS Characteristics
  9. What is DOS?
  10. DOS (Disk Operating System)
  11. Operating Systems (DOS/WINDOWS)
  12. U.S. Nuclear Weapons No Longer Need Floppy Disks

A master was explaining the nature of the Tao to one of his novices,
“The Tao is embodied in all software — regardless of how insignificant,”
said the master.
“Is the Tao in a hand-held calculator?” asked the novice.
“It is,” came the reply.
“Is the Tao in a video game?” continued the novice.
“It is even in a video game,” said the master.
And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?
The master coughed and shifted his position slightly. “The lesson is
over for today,” he said.
         — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 





All Versions of MS-DOS
1.0 – 8.0

How to Run DOS Games 
on a Mac

MS-DOS 6.22
Best OS . . . Ever?

Basic DOS Commands

How to Pick the Best
Gaming Laptop for MS-DOS Games

The Computer Chronicles
MS-DOS 6.2 (1993)



When is a Door Not a Door? PUNS!

When is a Door
not a Door?
When it’s a

And you knew it was coming eventually! My propensity (proPUNsity!) for puns and wordplay! SPOILER ALERT – you might groan at some of them!

Full Disclosure: I am always trying to think of puns, much to the consternation of my family, friends and colleagues! 

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: So many puns to cook up, so little thyme for them all! Deal with it!

By definition a pun is:

PUN (Dictionary.com)
Noun: the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.
the word or phrase used in this way.
Verb: (used without object), punned, pun·ning.
to make puns.

Pun (Merriam-Webster)
Noun: Definition of pun (Entry 1 of 2)
: the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more of its meanings or the meaning of another word similar in sound
Verb: punned; punning
Definition of pun (Entry 2 of 2)
intransitive verb: to make puns

Even Wikipedia has a Pun entry! And no, I did not contribute to it!

And as William Shakespeare said, ‘Aye, there’s the rub“, which comes from perhaps his most famous soliliqoy in Hamlet, you know … the one about a pair of bees!

And the ‘rub’ part Ole Bill is referencing is in the Merriam-Webster definition which includes the two words “usually humorous“! And thus the punishment begins!

Why Do Puns Make People Groan? “Puns are threatening because puns reveal the arbitrariness of meaning, and the layers of nuance that can be packed onto a single word,” 

Word Nerd: Ode to the pun — ‘the lowest form of humour …’ Puns have been much maligned by a host of commentators. Freud described puns as “cheap,” and Oliver Wendell Holmes assailed them as “verbicide.” …. Punning has been a language fixture through the ages. 

And that is very true! The greatest Punster of ALL TIME is … William Shakespeare!

And there are even some particularly punny NUMBERS as well! The punnist number of all time is ‘288‘. Why should this number NEVER be mentioned in conversation? Because it is two gross.

But even puns can be ruined by the nature of their origin or their historical context. And that includes Ole Bill too with a very saucy pun … at the time!

Romeo and Juliet, Prologue:
“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.”

The word ‘loins’ would originally have been pronounced the same as ‘lines’.
This pun refers to the fatal blood lines of Romeo and Juliet – the families that they descended from are the reason for their death, as well as their ‘loins’ (their physical relationship).

Kinda ‘runes’ the moment when any joke is dissected …. or explained! Sheesh! Get with the program, Bill!

In my o-pun-ion, puns are the highest level of .. funny! I admit, they don’t always work, but when they dew, the subsequent tsunami of rolling eyes, repressed rage and ‘Get thee to a winery!” looks are worth it! 

A specialized sub-set of puns are Dad Jokes! Yup, I qualify there too! Nothing better than getting an eye roll from my daughter! It is in every Dad Job Description and we have to meet all our Dad obligations!

Star Trek, Star Wars and just about any pop culture media is rife with puns, memes and running jokes! Although how a Horta runs is Star Trek:Beyond me!

And who can argue with Obi-Pun-Kenobi!


And I even own a book on puns, entitled ‘Upon the Pun” …. a crisp analysis of verbal and visual ambiguities … extremely entertaining anthology of frightful jokes ….”

I can lend it to anyone …. anyone? anyone? Bueller? Bueller?




And of course, computers are not immune to puns and jokes, in fact, some of the best jokes are technology based!

How am I with PowerPoint?
You could say I Excel at it.

That one even made ME cringe … but Full Disclosure: I still intend to use it one day! BEWARE!


OH, and I could go on, but I better knot!


  1. Why Do Puns Make People Groan?
  2. Word Nerd: Ode to the pun — ‘the lowest form of humour …’
  3. Shakespearean Puns
  5. 15 of History’s Greatest Puns
  6. 99 Funniest Dad Jokes
  7. Fourteen Computer Puns That Only Tech Heads Will Understand
  8. 25 Computer Puns That Will LAN You In A Pool Of Laughter
  9. The 10 Best Dad Jokes In Shakespeare
  10. Computer Puns

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







A Song Made Entirely
of Puns

73 Bad Puns
in 5 Minutes

Dad Jokes You Laugh You Lose
Will Ferrell vs Mark Wahlberg

Short, Clean Jokes & Puns
Get a Laugh Every Time

10 Best Puns
of All Time


1, 2, 3, . . . . or My Favourite Language Lesson of All Time!

1, 2, 3, …..
My Favourite Language Lesson
of All Time!

Count for me. Yes, count for me. Simple question. Or … is it? Okay, I will ask you to count for me again. Did you repeat your answer or did you ….. count differently? 

Full Disclosure: I have used this lesson in classes that I have taught from Elementary to Junior High/Middle School to Senior High – and even on university students!

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: I never tire of this lesson! And maybe, just maybe, you can win a bar bet with it! I haven’t myself, but you might!

TRIPLE Full Disclosure: Is anyone counting my … Full Disclosures?

What was your response? Nearly 100% of the time, the response will be “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …..” and then a bit of a hesitation! I neither prompt, direct, encourage or judge the response!

At the point of hesitation, I repeat the request, ‘Count for me”.  Now, about 50% of the time, I get the same response, but the fascinating part of this is that now, I can get a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT RESPONSE!

“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ….” and then it usually ends with ‘ZERO’ or ‘BLASTOFF!

“2, 4, 6, 8, 10, …..”  or “5, 10, 15, 20, 25, …”

Or it could be counting that totally surprise me! And that happened this morning, as you will see below, but first, a bit of techy, geeky, codey stuff!

You now need to see the ‘new language’ (code) that I was introducing to my computer science class at the time.

I used this BASIC lesson to describe perhaps the simplest and yet MOST COMPLEX cognitive task possible! COUNTING! Yes, I am oversimplifying this! But my ultimate purpose of this lesson was to teach problem solving, coding and a new language!

Consider the following BASIC programming code, from my old RAM chips:

FOR I=1 to 10
     PRINT I

So not only is it basic, it is BASIC which is short for:


Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code


Okay, so maybe my dredged up BASIC programming skills are not perfect! But that is what I ‘remember’ showing students how to program a computer to …”COUNT”! YOU just did the exact same thing when I asked YOU to … COUNT!

There were FOUR CRITICAL PREMISES you INSTANTLY, and it is an INSTANT response, that your required to complete my request, and I did not tell you ANY of them!

    1. Where to START counting
    2. How much to INCREMENT your counting by
    3. Where to END counting
    4. Method of output

So, the basic 1,2,3, 4, 5 …..
Start at 1
Say outloud

Increment by +1
Stop … where ?

So simple, yet so complex!

So I enacted a small social/digital/Teams experiment this morning. I asked 3 of my colleagues, via Teams, to ….’Count for me’. That is all. I prepped them by asking them to respond quickly, automatically and instantly. And the results were:

  1. 1 (delay)          2 (delay)          3 (delay)         24 (delay)       249
  2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
  3. in Japanese

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC RESPONSES! Thanks to ALL of you for your responses! Totally surprised me too with the never before seen responses! And we used TEAMS TOO! AWESOME!

I then asked them to count for me … AGAIN! And got this:

  1. lightning storm gif (brainstorming!)
  2. C, XC, LXXX, LXX, LX, L
  3. hehe …. good topic …..


I only have quasi-super powers, but I successfully managed to change the premises of counting for 3 of my colleagues in less than 5 minutes! LOL! Fortunately I have chosen to use my super powers for good, not evil!

The hardest premise to learn, is always the method of output!

I usually turn the tables on students by asking THEM to ask ME … to count! And I change one thing .. DRAMATICALLY!

I usually go to the chalkboard (yeah, old school, literally!) and ‘OUTPUT’ my response with chalk … and in some sequence they were not expecting, such as starting at ZERO and going NEGATIVE “ZERO, -10, -20, -30, …..” Output could be verbal, printed, sign language, tapping toes, sound … ANYTHING that could convey the output!

Who counts in negative numbers? COMPUTERS CAN! Or even counting the slices of pizza that are rapidly disappearing in the CHD kitchen after extra pizza boxes brought down by Marcus after a big meeting! LOL!


Apologies to BASIC ! I am so embarassed, I might just have to … TURTLE this one out!!

So, hopefully I have made you think a little differently the next time someone asks you to count how many people are in the lineup at Mystic to get a slice of pizza or how many computers just arrived in shipping! 


  1. Counting
  2. History of ancient numeral systems
  3. The History of Counting
  4. The Mathematics of Counting
  5. A brief history of numbers and counting
  6. When did humans first learn to count?
  7. Counting – History, fingers counting, the tally system
  8. Early Counting Systems
  9. 40 Facts About Numbers That Will Make You Feel Like a Mathematical Genius
  10. Number Facts
  11. Who’s Counting?
  13. Numberphile (YouTube videos)
  14. Googol , no not … Google

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







A Brief History of
Numerical Systems
Allesandra King – TED Talks

History of

Base 12

58 and Other
Confusing Numbers – Numberphile

The Opposite of
∞ Infinity ∞ – Numberphile

6 Things You Didn’t Know
About Numbers – TED Talks


Hairless Egyptian Cats or Les chats égyptiens glabres or 毛 の な い エ ジ プ ト の 猫 が 屋 上 に い て 、 GOOGLE TRANSLATE

Hairless Egyptian Cats
Les chats égyptiens glabres


What Could Go Wrong?!

Yeah, no. Not really. Almost. Maybe. Maybe not … what? Really? Ah, the joys of using Google Translate!

Full Disclosure: I use the analog version of Google Translate during the summer for French Immersion (La Maison Française)! Basically, Corn Flakes French! Each side of a Corn Flakes box has English/French and … just get rid of the smallest words … and you have a PERFECT TRANSLATION! And a breakfast too!

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: I TOTALLY use Google Translate for reading blogs, and any other websites or languages, into English. Not perfect, often hilarous, but definitely readable! A good tool!

Google Translate is like the first line from Charles Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ – It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” and as famous as that line is, the next line is quite appropriate too, “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” and that can sometimes sum up technology too.

Just a brief search this morning on Google Translate bring up all kinds of different opinions – good, bad, indifferent. Not too much of a surprise there. GT is a useful tool in my opinion. Not to be completely or totally relied upon, but useful nonetheless.

Many years ago, I remember teaching a Beginner’s Computer Science course at night. And one topic was always how computers do the wrong thing. Apart from the discussion that computers only do what the programmer coded, the one actual event (apparently) was when a computer transation program was used at an Engineering Symposium and all of a sudden, the transcript included the term ‘Water Sheep‘. And it wasn’t wrong! It was a literal translation of … HYDRAULIC RAMS! It was right in a computer codey kind of way! Helpful? Not so much! LOL!

So, the title of this post will … kinda make sense, with the following Google Translation screen grabs! I made up a silly sentence: 

The hairless Egyptian Cats are on the roof
downloading FireFox for their Macbook laptops.

Yeah, a bit silly, but useful! And the actual TITLE as used by WordPress, did not display the Japanese characters! Nor did it show them IN the body of this post! So how did I get them to appear? I used the Snipping tool to turn the text into an image! A trick is all!

And using Snipping, I was able to grab each Google Translate screen, going from English to French AND THEN BACK! Also English to Japanese AND THEN BACK! 

So, not too bad! In fact, I double-checked with a colleague and the Japanese translation BACK to English was quite close to the original context. 

AND, GT will translate ENTIRE WEBPAGES! Just copy and past the URL of the source language into the translation box, select English (or any language!) and GT will produce a clickable, bookmarkable URL for you to add to your Favourites! Very easy and useful!

Many blogs now add a Translation Widget, so link to the original blog, and then just choose the language Widget and it just works! Very cool!

And I just added it TO THIS BOG BLOG! I hadn’t even checked to see if it was here! AND IT IS! Learn something new each day! YAY! This feature will now be at the very top right hand corner on all posts. And my coffee buddy, Nik, can now read my blog in GREEK!

And there is also mobile device technology too! You can use your camera to translate languages on signs or menus!

Google Translate’s instant camera feature will now make translating a foreign street sign as easy as aiming your phone — even if your native language isn’t English ….. All told, there are 60 new languages in its list of supported languages for instant camera, including Arabic, Hindi, Malay, Thai and Vietnamese. This adds up to a grand total of 88 languages users can translate from by pointing their camera’s lens at the text. 

That is actually amazing! Part Scanner. Part Google Translate. Part Dictionary. Part Internet. Part …. United Nations, all in the palm of your hand!

And I leave you with the usual links about the topic of the day! Use Google Translate, it is much better than when I first started using it!


  1. 139 Translation Fails That Will Have You Rolling On The Floor Laughing
  2. Funny mistranslations from around the world
  3. The Funniest Examples of Translation Gone Wrong
  4. 15 Google Translate Fails That Will Make You Never Trust Computers Again
  6. Google Translate Still Misses the Mark
  7. Google Translate’s camera now works with more than 100 languages
  8. Translator Fun
  9. Google Translate Fails (YouTube)

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Google Translates Explains
How to Wash Your Hands

Google Translate DESTROYS
Your Favourite Movies

Bilingual People
Versus Google Translate

Bilingual People
Versus Google Translate #2


Working From Home . . . What Could Go Wrong?

Working From Home . . . 
What Could Go Wrong?!

DEFINITELY NOT my most productive morning since working from home!

Full Disclosure: Having a relatively frustrating morning, with, you guessed it … my computer! So, probably a short post today.

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: Taking a Tea Time Out, breathing and … over it now!

FIRST AND FOREMOST – amazing colleagues! I can’t say enough about everyone I work with at the Computer Help Desk! Thanks everyone! And they are doing the same for Students, Staff and Faculty with knowledge, humour and steadfast patience!

My laptop went wonky this morning! Still a bit wonky, but still doing what it does best – allow me to work from home during these interesting times! Everyone was quick to help, offer suggestions and give advice and I am back doing my morning OAC post! 

The only downside, would seem to be my bookmarks/Favourites in Edge have gone rogue! And if THAT is the worst thing that has happened on ‘Yet Another Manic Monday‘, then I am good to go with that! I spent the better part of the morning finding and re-setting my bookmarks and access to them. NAILED IT! Well, maybe … THUMBTACKED IT!

I had to take my own advice and just … let it go! I can easily, slowly, rebuild my Favorites and just keep on working at home! A few things that I always try to remember and put into perspective:

  1. PERSPECTIVE! Yup, just how important is it.
  2. Tea! Better than coffee for stress reduction
  3. Meditation – just letting things go. Thanks to Henri at UVic’s Multifaith!
    1. Breathing … kind of a sub-category, at least for me!

Not too much more. Those work for me and me alone. Yes, a big bag of oversimplification, but, it works for me. 

So, a perspective story! My lawnmower started on the second try this weekend! YAY! But the rip cord to start it .. RIPPED OUT! So, standing there, lawnmower RUNNING and no way to start it again Command Line Decision – just start cutting and don’t stop! Just like in Finding Nemo – “Just keep swimming!”, except … mowing the lawn!

I even emptied the catch bag – WHILE IT WAS RUNNING – and kept on mowing! Whew, finished frontyard, lane, alleyway and backyard in about 50 minutes while on FULL THROTTLE!

Makes a good story and then the best part – there are kits to replace the staring cable for under $10!

In hindsight,it was not as stressful as at the moment! But … I decided to …. just keep mowing, just keep mowing and it relieved my stress! Thanks Dori!

I also did a previous post on “Relieving Stress . . . International Words and Self-Care Trends

And I leave you with some great UVic and other sites on stress including BC and Canadian government sites.


  1. 10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety about Coronavirus (COVID-19) (UVIC)
  2. Ways to cope if you are in isolation due to COVID-19 (UVIC)
  3. Anxiety and Stress (UVIC)
  4. Managing COVID-19 Stress (BC Government)
  5. COVID-19 (BC Centre for Disease Control)
  6. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Canada)
  7. World’s Most Advanced Lawnmower

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Most Insane Lawnmowers